Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Dining Room Decorated for Christmas - Watcha Workin' on Wednesday

To be able to share my dining room pictures, it required a little work on my part. Therefore, that's what I've been working on for Whatcha Workin' on Wednesday. I don't know if you have a spot like this in your home, but our dining room seems to be the room that becomes the quick "catch all". In other words, we come in from shopping and those bags go in the corner until I can unload it, homeschooling books in baskets, or books scattered on the table until we finish them. Jason comes home from work, and puts his computer and paperwork there. We just add little things here and there, and before we know it....uggh! So, that's what I've been working on.....getting my dining room decluttered and picked up, and taking pictures! Not that it was a huge undertaking, but then I had to make decisions, like where to put this or that (where I would remember, lol!), or whether to keep or throw something away! But now it's behind me, for now, and I'm so glad and vowing to do better through the Christmas season!

Joy came through there last night, and said, "Wow, this sure is clean!" I guess that tells it all! It is just a rare thing that there's not SOMETHING sitting on the table or something on the floor! And that's just the reality of LIVING in your home! Then when you add a family that LIVES there ALL DAY long and the clutter of lots of books for homeschooling and more, it just doesn't take long. It just makes me wonder if all the homes you see in magazines actually always look like that, or if they have the same problems and issues from time to time.

Anyway, on to the Christmas decor pictures. I promised more Christmas pictures and decided it would be the dining room. This used to be one of my favorite rooms (and it still is ONE of them, but now my new kitchen I believe has moved up to favorite, I think).

This is the view I get sitting on the couch in the living room....a nice thing about having it open....the rooms flow together, so I can enjoy the decor in there too when I'm sitting in there at night with the lights out and Christmas lights on.

Last year at Christmas, I didn't have this sideboard/buffet. Jason made it for me in February, so this spot has a little bit different look from years before, but I love having it! I added the table top slim alpine tree this year instead of the larger one (that one is the one you saw on my sunporch).

This tree has pinecones, tiny snowflakes (both from Dollar Tree), and for garland...strips of homespun knotted every 6" or so, and then a twig star on top that I found at Garden Ridge.

This is a little snowman I think I got for a couple of dollars at the "thrift store" part of our church's Harvest Festival last year.

To the crock that's always there, I just added some greenery with pinecones and berries. I love touches of greenery everywhere...and red berries!

I bought this sign after Christmas year. I can't ever get too many snowmen!

And here's that little bay window area all favorite way!

Here's the view from standing in the kitchen doorway.

I got the wreath idea on back of the chairs from Krystal on the Country Sampler Forum. She had these on her chairs, so last year I went and bought the wreaths and accents and did my own version of them.

And the dining room table centerpiece....a grapevine wreath, bowl of apples, greenery and berries....

The chandelier above the table also has greenery and berries:

And lights out...all aglow...

In some years past, I have put my Christmas dishes on display in the hutch, but for the past couple of years, I didn't think the bright red on the dishes looked that great. I would love to have more primitive style dishes...the muted colors would look much better, I think. So it was kept very simple.

And Joy always get the bottom shelf of the hutch to set up the village in any way she likes. It's always set up a little different each year. She loves villages and nativity scenes. She can hardly pass up one in a store, without "rearranging" look the way it should look to her!

She loves villages and nativity scenes. She can hardly pass up one in a store, without "rearranging" look the way it should look to her!

I just love this little bucket. Again, I just added greenery and berries.

In another corner, is my grandmother's old ironing board, chair with homespuns and a simple berry wreath.

This is the old sled leaning in one corner (that I rescued from a friend's shed)..just with pine greenery added.

To the longjohn basket, I just added some pine greenery to the pip berries already there.

This is a photo that shows the pass through from the kitchen to dining room. I really don't have anything Christmasy there, except a little greenery and a star in the basket, but depending on where you're standing, you can see the little Christmas tree in the kitchen through there. That way anywhere I'm the kitchen, dining room, or living room....I have twinkling cozy Christmas lights!

And of course, we always have a view into the living room, so we have our big tree in sight.

Thanks for stopping by! I know alot of you will be decorating for Christmas this weekend, so I'm excited about seeing all the Christmas decor! We're on our way to Alabama for Thanksgiving and I'll be one of those black Friday shoppers! Then I'll look forward to "catching up" on what you all have been doing when I get back on Saturday and I'll share another room with you too!

I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving and many blessings! :)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

"Zu Zu's Petals", Home School Open House, Award & Giveaway

For my next post, I have been searching earnestly for a picture I wanted to share, and then I remembered it was the Tuesday for Tammy's Home School Open House (okay,really Tammy reminded me) I thought I would combine the two today, along with an award and giveaway too. (I hope you don't mind, Tammy...but being the old movie lover that you are, I figured I'd be okay putting this on here today)! And if you came just for the Home School Open House....just scroll on down until you see the button and that's where that part begins!

First of all, about Zu Zu. Do you recognize the name?

If you guessed, It's a Wonderful're right! Zu Zu was George Bailey's daughter...the little girl that caught a cold and was upstairs in bed sick. Remember him sitting on the side of the bed as she showed him her broken rose petals? Her daddy "fixed" it for her (by putting the broken one in his pocket and handing her back a perfect rose)! I always loved that because isn't that what all little girls (and big ones too) think about their daddies...they can fix anything and make it better?

It's a Wonderful Life is a favorite Christmas movie at our house. It's not a question of IF we watch it during the Christmas season, it's how many times. If you're a fan, you probably know the lines...."Hee Haw", "Hot Dog", "Teacher says, every time a bells rings an angel gets its wings"......And I could go on!

Well around Christmas of 1997, we found out that Karolyn Grimes, who played Zu Zu was going to be visiting our local library and signing autographs. Colt and I stood in line (before a ball game) to meet her. Colt was 8 years old at the time (and Joy hadn't come along yet). He took her a vase of pink roses "to replace the broken petals". She loved it! She was super nice! Here she is with Colt.

Notice the "Z" pin on her suit? Would you believe I've never noticed that EVER before today, and Joy pointed it out to me right when she looked at it. She said, "Look she has a Z on her for Zu Zu." How could I have missed that?

She signed our copy of It's a Wonderful Life.

We bought this ornament (that I absolutely love and treasure) and she signed the back of it too. It always gets a place of honor on our tree and I make sure it's wound tight around the branch.....because my heart would break if it fell off and broke!

This particular picture on the ornament is a shot of her when her daddy (George Bailey) is holding her at the end as all his friends, relatives and neighbors pour in to help George out!

Here's the back:

I love what she wrote! Life is wonderful!

If you've never seen the movies, you're really missing's a favorite here! And speaking of favorites, on another day, I will share my very favorite Christmas movies and I'm also going to ask all my family for THEIR favorites and I'll share that too!

Now on to the Home School Open House sponsored by Tammy of Lattes and Lollypops. Again this time, I don't have a big project to show you...but as usual we have been reading....lots of reading. This particular book has been our read-aloud (from Sonlight) for the past couple of weeks and we sure have loved's probably been our favorite actually so far this year (Joy's and mine).

The name of it is The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare. I remember reading this with Colt when he was younger. It's a wonderful story set in the Colonial Days in the colony of Connecticut during the times when the Puritans would "accuse" people of being witches. It's much more than that has history & courtship weaved throughout too. It also brought the opportunity for Joy and I to discuss what gossip and judging people can do. We also discussed desirable character, how to be a true friend and what to look for in a mate. It's hard to believe one little book could pack that much punch to discuss, but it did......and we loved it! Don't let the title fool you's a GREAT book to share with your family (or read alone).

And speaking of character, here's a book that Joy and I just started reading together and discussing. This an old book's been around a long time.

The back says, "What can be more beautiful than the budding and blossoming of girlhood? Those years of transition from childhood to womanhood are filled with wonderful interest and promise. But the young feet that travel this way may be unsteady and unsure. Each could use guidance, a helping hand along the way. To encourage our girls to a nobler life and truer ideals is the task of this book."

And since all that I've shared is's a picture of Joy doing an experiment she did at home and showed at recitation last Tuesday. Since we are studying astronomy (God's Design Series), we discussed the laws of thermodynamics as an introduction to earth science. This experiment showed the 2nd law of thermodynamics.....that all objects tend to go to a state of rest. (or slow down because it loses energy).

We tied a string around a tennis ball and taped it to the top of a doorway. She stood back the length of the string...holding it to her nose and let it go. By just releasing and not giving it any motion, it just swings out and back without touching her, because it's losing energy as it swings through the air.

On to the last couple of things for today...Here's an award given to me from my bloggin' buddy over at Cat Nap Inn! Thank you so much! I've met so many wonderful bloggers and enjoy so many blogs that I don't want to have to choose, so I pass this award along to ALL my blog readers!

And last of all, if you love Christmas and love to read, you'll love Trudy's giveaway. Click over and pick out your favorite Christmas book she has and if she draws your name out, you'll win your favorite book!

Thanks so much for stopping by today and for the kind comments! I enjoy them all so much and I enjoy visiting your blogs too! I don't get to do so everyday, but I try as often as I can, and I usually catch up a few days a week.

I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving week too! Check back for more Christmas decor pictures!


Saturday, November 22, 2008

"Simply Rustic" - Christmas on our Sunporch

This is the first year that I've had our sunporch to decorate. It was all torn apart last year at this time being remodeled from a dull room that was an eyesore (to me) since we walk through here everytime we come into the a now favorite place. It serves as a transition from the outdoors to the indoors into our kitchen, so it was important that it be a happy place as we walked in from the carport into our home.

I've been really excited about having this room, to say the least. We also have it insulated with a heater out here so it can be used during the colder months if we want. Although, we don't keep it heated out here all the time, because of obvious reasons of saving money, at least we do have the option of doing so and leaving the kitchen door open and this area flows naturally into the kitchen. I am looking forward to having this extra space when we have our ladies Christmas party here and when we have our Christmas day dinner with family and sometimes....just because. And if we EVER have snow, I can just imagine sitting out there watching the snowflakes with all those windows! (Thanks, Kath, for the cyber snow!) lol!

Just like our outdoor decor, it's very simple, with a rustic flavor. I love natural things to decorate with....I love pinecones, pine needles, grapevine wreaths.....anything you might find outdoors is what I wanted to embillish with out here...and with a primitive touch (and on a very tight budget, I might add).

The slim alpine tree out here is adorned with pinecones, snowflakes (from Dollar Tree), a garland (of stars, twigs and pinecones), berries, and birdhouses. The birdhouses beneath the tree were made by Jason and my dad.

And here it is aglow with the twinkling lights.

Here's a cozy table for two. On the center of the table is the birch bark tree that I bought last year. I could just picture it out on the sunporch (when I could finally decorate it)! I bought it at Walmart the day after Christmas.

Topping the birch bark tree, is a "stick" star I found last year too. I do believe this tree is one my favorite things this year! I have visions of standing inside a log cabin looking out of the window and seeing snow covered trees like this! Oh...and sipping on a cup of hot chocolate (Shelley...I guess that's reality for're living my dream!) :)

Over in this corner is a large piece of driftwood my dad brought home for me. I remember my mom having that stool when I was still at home. I found the wooden Christmas angel for .50 at a yard sale last year. The birdhouse lamp came from ebay.

The chippy paint birdhouse perched on top of the driftwood was another .50 yard sale find. Remember the snowflake from the ornament swap? I thought this was the perfect spot for it! It's one way to see a snowflake! :)

There's absolutely no added decorations here on the bench except pinecones, pinecones, and more pinecones (in the tool box and under the bench in the pinecone basket). Our late night family excursion picking up pinecones in the freezing cold paid off I guess....brrrr!

Remember the potting bench Jason made me from the $18 Lowes door? Here it is with a few Christmas decorations...the Santa came from a win playing "Dirty Santa", the snowman shelf sitter, the wooden birdhouse stand underneath, and greenery and surprise....pinecones in the garden box.

There's not much added to the old-window-turned-coffee-table that Jason made me except pinecones, candles, and baskets. The sleigh was given to me by my friend, Betty, a few years ago.

Isn't this little snowman pillow the cutest thing? I found it at a yard sale too...$1.00. He found a home out here on the sunporch loveseat. He makes me smile! I don't mind sharing this seat with him at all!

And don't you just love it when you find something that you forgot you bought? I found this sign put away in a closet upstairs that I bought last year after the season for $2.00. It's really the only thing I added to the shelves above the windows except for greenery...........and pinecones! :)

And here's a couple of pictures of the sunporch my favorite way....lights off...aglow with lamplight and twinkling Christmas lights! It feels cozy this way!

That's it. I told you it would be simple.....and rustic....(with pinecones)! :) It seems like I'm doing simple more these days. Besides, I also wanted you to see how a room could be decorated for Christmas with nature's free decorations and very inexpensive thrift store and yard sale finds.

Thank you so much for stopping by to visit our sunporch for Christmas! I'm so glad you did. And a very BIG thank you for all the nice comments on the exterior of our home. I was really overwhelmed with the kindness! You all are wonderful! You just don't know how much it means to me! You really know how to make a girl's day!

And I know everyone loves giveaways, so be sure to click over to Beth's and sign up for Gracie! Beth is drawing out a name on Sunday evening and sending her to a new might just be yours (or mine). I'll take really good care of her, Beth! :)

I'm not really sure which room will be next on the Christmas tour....I guess the next one will just have to be a surprise. But you're definitely invited! And have a great weekend! :)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Welcome to our Home - Front Porch Christmas Decor

Welcome to our cedar home! We have no snow on our roof, although I would love it if we did!

A few years ago, Jason and I came to an agreement. Although, he does love to get the tree out and deck the house out with Christmas decor, the part he didn't like was decking the house out with Christmas lights. Icicle lights did look pretty outlining the steep roof, but I wasn't the one that had to climb up there and put them up! He liked the look of greenery with flood lights on the house. Although it wasn't easy convincing me to try it, we did and I was sold! I love the way it illuminates the house and the simplicity of it. And I'm sure Jason loves the simplicity for a different reason!

This year so far we've just put the wreaths up on the windows. Sometimes we add garland draped around the porch.

Last Saturday night, Jason, Joy and I were outside at nearly 10:00 in town picking up pinecones and it was COLD! We were laughing about the fact, that Colt might very well get off work and drive by and see his family outside near Kroger (there's a bunch of pine trees near there) and wonder what we were up to now....although I'm sure he wouldn't be surprised at anything he might see us doing! I'm sure he was glad he wasn't out there! Anyway, we picked up quite a few pinecones, which I love to decorate with at Christmas. I filled the flower boxes with them here on the front porch.

And this is "Flakey" the Snowman.....or so Joy calls him. Last year he was out on our fence. This year I decided to put him right beside the front door to welcome visitors.

And on this side, we do have "Frosty". He was a purchase a couple of years ago. I fell in love with him at Hobby Lobby and Jason bought him and brought him home! He welcomes folks on the other side of the front door.

That's it.....nothing fancy....very simple....but then so are we! I hope you enjoyed it! Now come on in out of the cold for some hot chocolate!

Thanks for stopping by to visit! Next on the tour for Christmas decor will be the come back soon!